Jimmy Ellis

From BoxRec
Revision as of 07:12, 7 November 2015 by Boxsoup (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jimmy Ellis 1231417.jpg
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Jimmy Ellis
Birth Name: James Albert Ellis
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Died: 2014-05-06 (Age:74)
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 185cm
Reach: 193cm
Pro Boxer: Record
Amateur Boxer: Record

Trainers: Bud Bruner (1961-1964), Angelo Dundee (1965-1975)

Jimmy Ellis Gallery

Career Review

  • Won 59 of 66 amateur bouts, including a win against Muhammad Ali.
  • Lost to Wilbert McClure at the 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials in San Francisco. McClure went on to win the Olympic gold medal in the light middleweight division.
  • Lost to Leotis Martin in the middleweight final of the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in 1960. Ellis represented Chicago at the Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament and outpointed Ossie Marcano to win the alternate middleweight title.
  • Outpointed Leotis Martin to win the middleweight title at the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in 1961. At the Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament, Ellis was outpointed by Johnny Persol.
  • Received The Ring magazine Progress of the Year Award in 1967.
  • Took part in an eight-man tournament for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in 1967 and 1968. Ellis defeated Leotis Martin, Oscar Bonavena, and Jerry Quarry to win the vacant title.
  • One of four World Heavyweight Champions from Louisville, Kentucky. The other three are Marvin Hart, Muhammad Ali, and Greg Page.
  • Defended the WBA world title with a 15-round decision over former 2-time World Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson.
  • Stopped after four rounds by Joe Frazier in a fight to unify the World Heavyweight Championship in 1970.
  • Stopped in the 12th round by Muhammad Ali in 1971.
  • After eight consecutive knockout victories, Ellis was stopped in the 1st round by Earnie Shavers in 1973. Ellis won just two of his final eight fights.
  • Partially blinded when a sparring partner accidentally poked him in his left eye in 1975. The injury ended his career.
  • Ellis was one of the coaches of the Santa Monica, California-based "Muhammad Ali Boxing Club" in 1979 and 1980. It was one of the most prestigious coaching positions in amateur boxing.
  • On the day of Ellis' death, Muhammad Ali stated: "I had a kinship with Jimmy and felt like he and I were of the same cloth. He was a great athlete and a caring man. Great competitors who happen to be great friends are rare. Jimmy Ellis was that to me and I will miss him."

Personal Life

  • Ellis and his wife, Mary Etta, were married on December 25, 1958, and they had six children: Jamesetta, James Jr., Inez Elaine, Mary, Sonya, and Jeffrey.
  • Ellis and his wife sang with a group called the "Spiritual Singers Choir" at Riverview Baptist Church in Louisville.
  • Both Ellis and Ali attended Central High School in Louisville. Ali graduated, but Ellis dropped out in the 12th grade.
  • Suffered from dementia pugilistica.


  • The Ring, November 1967, pages 20-21: "How Far Can Ellis Last In Heavyweight Eliminations?" by Hank Kaplan.
  • The Courier-Journal, October 5, 2004, page C.2: "Ellis suffers condition common to boxers" by Brian Bennett.

Preceded by:
John Martin
Intercity Golden Gloves
Middleweight Title

Succeeded by:
Leotis Martin
Preceded by:
Leotis Martin
Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Middleweight Champion

Succeeded by:
Tournament ends

Preceded by:
Muhammad Ali
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1968 Apr 27 – 1970 Feb 16
Succeeded by:
Joe Frazier